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The World of Business Information Presented by: Sophie Bury Business Librarian Bronfman Business Library November 22, 2005 Learning Objectives 1) Define in broad terms the world of business information with special focus on company & industry information

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The World of Business Information

Presented by: Sophie Bury

Business Librarian

Bronfman Business Library

November 22, 2005

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Learning Objectives

1) Define in broad terms the world of business information with special focus on company & industry information

  • Types of information - key formats

  • Scholarly, trade, popular

  • Free vs. fee

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Learning Objectives

2) Identify key producers of this information, and explore consumers of this information

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Learning Objectives

3)Provide an overview, with examples, of specific sources of information for company & industry research including print and Web resources (both fee-based and freely available)

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Types of Business Information

  • Books - scholarly, trade, popular

  • Reference materials: directories, handbooks, manuals etc.

  • Articles - scholarly, trade, news, popular

  • Government publications,statistics,data e.g. Strategis

  • Financial/Investment data products e.g. Bloomberg (available on computer in Bronfman Business Library)

  • Company profiles, financials, reports e.g. Financial Post Advisor (Canadian), Mergent Online(International).

  • Industry reports & analysis e.g. Standard and Poor’s Industry Surveys (print & U.S. focused), Investext Plus (international), Mergent Industry Reports (international)

  • Market Research Reports e.g. MarketLine, Business Insights

  • And more…

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Types of Business Information

  • Scholarly

  • Trade/Professional

  • News sources

  • Internet (free Web) sources

  • Popular

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Scholarly Literature

  • Written by academics & researchers - positions and institutions identified.

  • Audience includes researchers and professionals.

  • May be peer-reviewed.

  • Emphasis on original research - often feature research projects, methodology, and theory.

  • Specialized language, in-depth articles, & often have extensive bibliographies.

  • Publication lag time.

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Trade/Professional Literature

  • Targets members of a specific business or profession, organization, or industry.

  • Authors are typically practitioners or journalists who cover the field

  • Articles sometimes unsigned.

  • Usually published by an association or organization.

  • Often printed on glossy paper with pictures, charts, and illustrations and some focused advertising.

  • Valued for its currency.

  • Typically focus on industry trends, new products or techniques, and organizational news.

  • Editorial review quite common, may contain short bibliographies.

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Articles: Scholarly vs. TradeTwo Examples

  • Journal of Management Studies

  • Financial Management

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Finding Scholarly ArticlesExample: ABI Inform Global

  • Find Articles by Subject - > Business - > Example: ABI INFORM Global

  • Contains citations and abstracts for over 1100 business and management publications. More than 700 of these titles are available in full-text or full-image.

  • Coverage: 1971 - present.

  • Possible to limit results to:

    • Scholarly journals, including peer-reviewed 

    • Date range

      Another important database for scholarly articles: Business Source Premier

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Finding Trade Journals/Magazines: Example: ABI/INFORM Trade and Industry

  • Find Articles by Subject - > Business - > Example: ABI INFORM Trade & Industry

  • Search more than 750 business periodicals and newsletters with a trade or industry focus. Provides users with the latest industry news, product and competitive information, marketing trends, and a wide variety of other topics. Contains publications on every major industry, including finance, insurance, transportation, construction, and many more.

  • Coverage: 1971 - current  

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Business Articles: When Location Matters

  • ABI/INFORM Global - international though strong U.S. focus.

  • ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry - international though strong U.S. focus.

  • Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA) - esp. Business and Current Events component.

  • Proquest Asian Business

  • Proquest European Business

  • All accessible via eResources Title Quick Search on Libraries’ Home Page.

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  • Important for many business professionals and academics to read news.

  • May be only available or relevant source for some business topics esp. where currency is key.

  • Topics are treated from different points of view.

  • Not just newspapers but also newswires, realtime newsfeeds etc.

  • Internet vs. Libraries as sources for news?Example: Factiva, Canadian Newsstand

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Business Internet Resources (Free Web)

  • Quality, authority, currency of business information on Web varies hugely.

  • The Good…e.g.

    • Much Government information e.g. Strategis from Industry Canada provides industry info. and small business info.

    • Some Sites from commercial entities - for financial markets information.

  • Tread with caution…e.g. - Advocacy groups example – piece on the oil industry from an eco-action group.

    - Organizations/Corporations where a key goal is to sell you something or attract investors e.g. company websites

    - And more…

    Library guides can help you identify the quality sites e.g. Bronfman Business Library’s Business Links

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Popular Literature

  • Intended for non-professionals or general public.

  • Typically unsigned, especially articles.

  • Typically no bibliographies.

  • Use of laymen terms, not specialized language.

  • Often focus on news or general interest items.

  • If a magazine, features glossy paper, pictures & illustrations, and heavy advertising

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Finding Popular Business ArticlesExample: Canadian Periodical Index

  • Includes Canadian and international academic journals, magazines, and newspapers in both English and French. All subjects are represented including business topics, with an emphasis on Canadian and international issues. Many articles are full text.

  • Coverage is from 1988 - present.

  • Includes Canadian Business for example.

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Key Consumers of Company & Industry Information

  • Academia - faculty, researchers, students.

  • Corporate sector for competitive intelligence, knowledge management, investment research, consultancy work, market research, drawing up a business plan etc.

  • Government to fulfill mandate of supporting business or in order to regulate or legislate for corporate activities.

  • Professional associations to support membership and fulfill mandate.

  • Business journalists and professional writers.

  • General public - information on personal financial planning, current business events, trends.

  • And more ….

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Key Producers of Company & Industry Information

  • Companies – Public vs. Private companies. Public filings (SEDAR, EDGAR), promotional and sales materials, Web-sites (individual company web sites.

  • Academia - scholars & researchers - dissertations, articles, books etc. distributed by commercial publishers, university presses etc.

  • Large commercial publishers e.g. Standard & Poors, Mergent, Dun & Bradstreet, Financial Post, Proquest etc.

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Financial Post

  • Company and Industry Reports

  • Detailed descriptions of PUBLIC companies

  • Canadian

  • Financial Post Advisor

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Key Producers of Company & Industry Information

  • Trade/Professional publishers e.g. industry associations, individual professional business writers - Associations Canada

  • Government e.g. Industry Canada, Statistics Canada publications and CANSIM - free vs fee

  • Mass media e.g. newswires, newspaper articles, popular magazines, popular websites e.g., Yahoo!Finance.

  • Libraries e.g. Small BizExpress (Toronto Public Library), A Guide to Choosing Databases for Business Research (MIT).

  • And more…

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Consider the Source

  • Employ critical thinking

  • Example: Annual reports

    • Graphics are meant to reflect company’s image.

    • Written to encourage investment as well as report current status and future directions.

    • Audited financial statements. (Enron/Anderson)

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Critical Thinking vs Judgemental Thinking

  • Don’t be limited by your own ideas

    • Be creative with the sources you explore

    • Try a variety of keywords when searching

  • Don’t start at the end

    • i.e. don’t presume you know the answer and then seek only those articles or data which support your ideas

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Key Business Resources

  • Visit Subject Research Guidesunder Help With Research on library home page

  • Visit Guides & Assignments under Library Departments-> Peter F. Bronfman Business Library website

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Peter F. Bronfman Business Library

  • Visit us at S237 Seymour Schulich Building

  • Sophie Bury

  • Toni Olshen

  • Elizabeth Watson